Brian from Lakewood writes, “What is driving you crazy? They have been working on the Wadsworth bridge between 6th & 8th for well over 3yrs. It has been such a horrible bottleneck I have had to re-route each day which add 15min drive time. It is so bad that a number of business have had to close due to cars unable to turn from the median. The business still left must be really suffering. There are also huge potholes that frequently appear. Many times I have seen cars with blown out tires due to potholes. Blown tires causes one lane to shut down….and they the fun really begins. All I want to hear about now is when there is an official end date so things will go back to normal.”
Your frustration Brian is shared with many drivers who use Wadsworth every day. The construction you are talking about is CDOT’s Wadsworth capacity project that is rebuilding and rehabilitating Wadsworth between Colfax and 6th Avenue in Lakewood. This has been a tricky, and long project for CDOT that is now in the home stretch.
CDOT broke ground in April of 2014 and originally expected to be done by the end of 2016. As you can tell that didn’t happen. CDOT now expects to have most of the work complete by June or July of this year. One of the challenges for the contractors has been building the box culvert under Wadsworth to carry water in Dry Gulch under the roadway. They also tore out and rebuilt the undersized drains to alleviate the constant flooding after summer rains. The project also went long due to a delay between the two main phases of the overall project.
The most significant reason for the delay has been due to weather. There were many times over the past three years that a snow storm or heavy rain would delay one aspect of the project, knocking down a domino effect of delays from one week to the next. The contractor said all construction activities are weather dependent and those bad weather days caused the schedule to change.
Several businesses in that construction zone have been affected adversely by the lane closures and difficulty for drivers to get through that area. “We understand the frustrations regarding this project, especially due to its close proximity to businesses and residential neighborhoods,” said Stacia Sellers, CDOT Region 1 Communications Specialist. “We are also working with businesses to help make sure they stay open and have the information they need,” Sellers added.
CDOT says the potholes on northbound and southbound Wadsworth are being taken care of as the pop up. The warm weather during the day with freezing temperatures overnight has been adding to the cracking of the pavement and creation of the potholes.
“We will continue to work diligently when they show up and seek a permanent fix until we switch into phase 2B, where we'll begin working on the east half of the project. CDOT is working with our contractor, SEMA, to come up with the best solutions when we run into obstacles,” Sellers says.
The contractor over the next few weeks will continue work on paving Wadsworth in concrete as well as pouring the new sidewalks, curbs and gutters. They are also finishing up the channel and trail construction on the east side of the project and finishing the trail wall on the west side. The storm sewer work along 10th Ave is still underway as well.
The last of the work will be finishing the work around 10th Ave and opening up Highland Drive that has been closed for the majority of this phase of the project. As part of this work starting today, Monday, Feb. 20, through Friday, Feb. 24, 9th Avenue, just east of Wadsworth will be closed in both directions 24 hours each day.
CDOT assures me the new projected completion date is early summer 2017 with the caveat that they keep seeing good weather to work in. There is a project phone hotline if you would like more information or to get more updates this spring by calling 888-759-6179, option 1.
Denver7 traffic anchor Jayson Luber says he has been covering Denver-metro traffic since Ben-Hur was driving a chariot. (We believe the actual number is over 20 years.) He's obsessed with letting viewers know what's happening on their drive and the best way to avoid the problems that spring up. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter or listen to his Driving You Crazy podcast.